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The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs

Elaine Sciolino, Contributing Writer at The New York Times and Ferris Professor of Journalism

May 16, 2017 · 6:00 pm7:30 pm · Labyrinth Books Princeton

Labyrinth Books Princeton
Cover of Elaine Sciolino's book The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs

Elaine Sciolino, contributing writer and former Paris bureau chief at The New York Times and current visiting professor in the Humanities Council’s Ferris Seminars in Journalism, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street, offering an homage to street life and the pleasures of Parisian living. Please join us for a celebration of a Paris neighborhood’s rich history and vibrant lives.

While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure. On this street, the patron saint of France was beheaded and the Jesuits took their first vows. It was here that Edgar Degas and Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted circus acrobats, Emile Zola situated a lesbian dinner club in his novel Nana, and François Truffaut filmed scenes for The 400 Blows. Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents—the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers—bringing Paris alive in all of its unique majesty.

Sciolino’s 2015 book The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs is a NYTimes best seller. Sciolino is also the author of La Seduction: How the French Play the Game of Life, Persian Mirrors: The Elusive Face of Iran, and The Outlaw State: Saddam Hussein’s Quest for Power and the Gulf Crisis. In 2010, she was decorated as a chevalier of the Legion of Honor for her “special contribution” to the friendship between France and the United States. She held a number of posts at the NYTimes, including United Nations bureau chief, Central Intelligence Agency correspondent, and chief diplomatic correspondent.

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